Cricket News: “Selfish” – Temba Bavuma criticised for playing semi-final when not 100 percent fit | Fans share their thoughts on Temba Bavuma playing when not 100% fit
The second World Cup semi-final began well for South Africa. Captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and chose to bat, which has clearly been the strength of the Proteas in this tournament. They won all their matches batting first, racking up huge totals in the process, and now had the chance to test Australia on a dry, turning pitch at Kolkata.
However, much of the discussion immediately shifted towards Bavuma’s fitness. The skipper had been battling a hamstring injury in the lead up, and admitted to Michael Atherton that he was “not 100 percent fit”, sparking reactions around both he and the team management choosing to take such a risk in a huge game.
The move backfired relatively quickly, with Bavuma dismissed for nought, round off a very disappointing campaign for the opener who had come into the tournament off the back of a terrific year in ODIs. He struck just 145 runs in the entire tournament at an average of 18.12. His top score of 35 came off 55 balls against Australia, part of an overall strike rate of just 73.60.
The Proteas were soon reduced to 24/4 courtesy of a magnificent opening burst by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, bringing back past demons for South Africa in semi-finals. However, David Miller played one of the great ODI knocks, striking 101 to give his team a fighting total of 212.
It was a total that could have been enough had South Africa turned to their spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi sooner. Australia flew to 98/2 in 13 overs, knocking off nearly 46% of the target before either spinner was introduced into the attack. Both caused chaos, with Maharaj finding a huge 6.5 degrees of turn to keep Australia on their toes in the middle overs.
Shamsi and Maharaj combined for 3/66 in 20 overs, along with an excellent 1/23 off eight overs by Aiden Markram. However, Australia’s headstart, along with a number of missed opportunities in the field, meant it was another dose for heartbreak for South Africa in a World Cup semi-final.
Reactions to Temba Bavuma admitting he was not 100 percent fit
Fans were disappointed with Bavuma’s call to play as well as how he used his bowling attack. “I will not engage on any “quota player” discussions But Temba playing when unfit was selfish, very very selfish,” one fan said.
“Bavuma has not performed this entire World Cup, not 100% fit, still plays in this very very crucial game. Now out for a duck. What’s the explanation? Surely being captain isn’t enough. We need our best men out there as fit as possible,” another fan wrote.
Below are some reactions to Bavuma playing the World Cup semi-final despite not being 100 percent fit.
Australia, courtesy of their three-wicket win, will take on India in the final at Ahmedabad on Sunday. Should they beat the Indian juggernaut, it will be sixth time the Australians lift the men’s ODI World Cup trophy.